Apple says the glass back – required for wireless charging – is stronger than any glass used before
There's one thing you really, really want to do with the iPhone 8: drop it.
There's never been a good iPhone to drop, but the new one might be the worst yet. The phone has a glass front and back, and repairing them will be more expensive and more difficult than any Apple handset before.
The iPhone's new back, which is one of the ways the phone is marked out from the preceding iPhone 7. As well as aesthetics, the new material is required so that the phone can charge wirelessly, since any metal back would get in the way.
That also means that the back isn't simply made to hold all of the pieces inside. In addition to that, it has the wireless charging coil attached to a panel that is then securely glued to the glass back, meaning that it all comes apart as one big piece.
That's all according to iFixit, which got its hands on an early iPhone 8 and then pulled it to bits. It has done the same with the other Apple products released this week.
That makes it both incredibly difficult to take off and very expensive to put back on again. The combined difficulty of those two things will make it more expensive to get the back repaired by Apple than the front, it has said.
Apple says that the glass panel is stronger than has been used in any phone before. And there haven't been widespread reports of it breaking since it was released on Friday.
It's also likely that the phone could hang on, even if the glass is smashed. Just as people manage to use their phone's display once the front is broken, the wireless charging and other features will probably be able to keep working with a broken back.
And iFixit even suggested that the new phones could actually break less often than the older ones, at least in one way. Because of wireless charging, the Lightning port on the bottom will probably take less strain – and so are less likely to stop working, as they often do.